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New symptom search on Google helps self-diagnosis
June 30, 2016, 1:48 pm

Over the next few days Google is rolling out a feature called ‘Symptom Search’, which is designed to show better results on the Google app for iOS or Android, when you search for free medical advice.

Typing in simple symptoms like ‘headache’ will show a general description of your problem, options for self-treatment and suggestions on whether or not you should go to see a doctor. Many search results will show you a condition card, which Google launched last February, and these may or may not include illustrations. Other search results will appear as cards that you can swipe on or drop-down menus that you can tap to see more information.

With about 1 percent of searches on Google being symptom-related, the search-giant said it wanted to do a better job of sending people useful results. The company created this list of symptoms by turning to its web results to find health conditions and then compared these with the medical information from doctors that it uses for its Knowledge Graph. Google also got help from experts at Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic.

However, Google warns that its ‘Symptom Search’, like all medical information on its site is meant for informational purposes only, and that you should always consult a doctor for medical advice. The updated service, which is currently available only in the US and in English, is expected to be developed for other countries and languages in future.

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